Features of the Pool Cue Tip

I have played pool for more than fifty years–some very good pool and some very crummy pool. I now both sell, repair and make custom pool cues. With pride, I admit that many of my customers travel to our store to seek out my advice and assistance with their pool cue purchase. jeddahvape

A pool cue is both a functional tool necessary to participate in our wonderful sport and also can be a genuine work of art to be treasured and enjoyed for a lifetime.

Serious pool players should, and most do, have their own personal cue stick. Players perform better and more confidently when they use one familiar cue. Having one’s own pool cue can significantly reduce or even eliminate certain player performance factors. A player is less likely to bang the cue or abuse the tip, shaft or butt of their own favorite cue.

Pool cues are made up of many components. The one I would like to focus on in this article is the tip.

Most tips are made of leather and some are synthetic. The tip is probably the most important factor in how a pool cue will perform. I remain a believer in leather tips for general playing, while I’ve found that a synthetic tip can be a solid advantage for jump and break shots. sob-bau

Tips are made using various methods; however, most remain punched out of leather hides. Some pool tips are shaped after they are punched out, and I believe these, including the multi-layered varieties, are more consistent in hardness. Other tips are punched out and shaped on top at the same time using a machine based concave punch. Over the years, I have concluded that this manufacturing process lets the tip come out of the punch rounded over the top. These types of tips represent the majority of cue tips on the market and are used in virtually all mass-manufactured pool cues. These tips are harder around the outside edge than in the middle of the tip. This characteristic tends to lead to the “mushrooming” of the tip over time, or a flattening of the middle of the tip pushing the edges of the tip out over the circumference of the ferrule.

Leather suits the purpose because it resists slipping of the cue ball and it lacks resiliency. The cue tip strikes the intended object ball, and the leather actually compresses with a tendency to conform to the curvature of the cue ball. The leather does not resume its original shape until the cue ball has been pushed on its path, when the tip is no longer in contact with it. odozapato

I believe that hardness is the most important characteristic of a cue tip. There is really no formal standard with which cue tip hardness is uniformly measured. Hardness can be approximated by pressing one’s thumb nail into the tip and releasing, or, with the use of a hardness testing device (which costs about $1,000.00). The deeper the indentation in a cue tip after impact, the softer the tip. Usually, the thicker the tip, the softer it is.

Most serious players are steadfast in their choice of either a hard or medium tip, while it is reputed that soft tips are generally the tip of choice for beginners. Though, I will admit that I have played for several years with a Moori soft tip, and in one of last seasons APA leagues I was undefeated (except for one game where I was beaten by a phenom with only a few weeks in the sport). rtp500

Tip hardness is a personal choice in the quest for a cue perfectly suited to the player and the playing. If you would like to find your perfect cue, seek the counsel of someone in the know, and try several out to see what works best for you and your game. There are many options for each cue feature. Learn about them, and select well. Play on!

 

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